Food & Drink

Here's Where You Can Get the Absolute Best Pizza in Charleston

Sydney Gallimore Published On 01/06/2016 Published On 01/06/2016

When people think of Charleston's food scene, pizza doesn’t immediately spring to mind. But when people think of delicious foods, pizza usually does spring to mind, and Charleston isn't about to let them down, because it actually has some of the finest pie joints in the state. Here are the best dozen:

Pizzeria Di Giovanni

Market Street

At 2am, you’ll see a line of not-so-sober college students forming on Market St with people waiting to get one of these giant slices of New York-style pizza to eat as they stumble home. We’re talking super-thin crust, lots of cheese, and lots of grease on slices that require two hands to hold. It's open during the day, too, so you can get a cheap slice whenever the mood strikes.

DeSano Pizza Bakery

DeSano Pizza Bakery

Eastside

DeSano takes its Neapolitan-style pizza very seriously. It adheres to the very strict guidelines of the Associazione Verace Pizza Napoletana (yes, that’s a real thing) and imports its ingredients (including flour, sea salt, tomatoes, mozzarella, olive oil, and basil) directly from the motherland. The three wood-burning ovens (also imported from Italy) are constantly set at 900 degrees and can cook your pizza in 90 seconds flat. We recommend the classic San Gennaro, topped with tomato sauce, sausage, peppadews, garlic, caramelized onions, scamorza, mozzarella, and pecorino Romano.

D'Allesandro's Pizza

Elliotborough

D’als (as it is lovingly referred to) is a neighborhood favorite, located just south of the crosstown in the heart of Elliotborough Downtown. The menu is filled with unique and creative options for hand-tossed pizzas, calzones, salads, and caljoes (panini sandwich). You can also find its frozen pizzas around town at places like Bull Street Gourmet & Market for a take & bake option. Our favorite: the Chauncinator.

Andrew Cebulka

Monza

King Street Historic District

Monza is an Italian racing-themed restaurant that specializes in gourmet Neapolitan-style brick oven pizzas. Like DeSano, it also has many of its ingredients and equipment imported from Italy, but it also has a focus on sourcing ingredients and flavors from local suppliers as well. Pro tip: try the Vanwall Special made with pesto, mozzarella, shrimp, and seasonal tomatoes.

EVO

Park Circle

EVO (short for Extra Virgin Oven) is constantly packed with pizza fanatics and die-hard fans of its wood-fired pizzas, sandwiches, and baked goods. It's also a bakery, so you can bet that the dough and pizza crust are some of the best you’ll ever have. The best pizza on the menu is the Pork Trifecta (seriously, it’s got a cult following), with red sauce, house-made sausage, pepperoni, bacon, mozzarella, and Parmigiano-Reggiano.

Paisano's Pizza Grill

Paisano's Pizza Grill

West Ashley

If you’re a fan of pizzas with a lot of wacky toppings and flavor combinations, and thicker crust, then Paisano’s is definitely the pizza for you. If you’re feeling adventurous, try the Speedy Gonzalez, topped with cheddar cheese, ground beef, jalapeños, onions, tomatoes, and taco seasoning, or the Colbert, with a blue cheese base topped with chicken (grilled or fried), blue cheese crumble, and hot sauce. For a more classic pizza, opt for the Zeus, topped with basil, spinach, tomatoes, olives, and feta cheese.

Charleston House of Pizza

North Charleston

Located in a pretty desolate part of Dorchester Rd inside a shiny old diner lies the distinctly hidden treasure that is Charleston House of Pizza (aka CHOP). The sauce is a little on the sweeter side, and the pies are loaded with mozzarella & cheddar cheeses. It isn't fancy, and it doesn’t pretend to be. The menu is simple, with only five different specialty pies, including the veggie pizza, which is loaded with peppers, onions, broccoli, olives, and tomatoes that even a carnivore is sure to enjoy.

Crust Wood Fired Pizza

Crust

James Island

If you prefer your pizzas on the fancy side, then Crust is where you should go to wet your whistle. Its wood-fired artisan pizzas are made with fresh and local ingredients, and are unlike any other pizza you’ll find in Charleston. Because it sources many of its ingredients locally, it always has a few daily pizza specials, so each trip to Crust can feel like the first time. Our favorite menu standard is the butternut squash pizza with roasted squash, mushrooms, caramelized onion, goat cheese, mozzarella, arugula, and truffle oil.

La Pizzeria

Mount Pleasant

Located in an unassuming shopping center in Mount Pleasant, La Pizzeria is the definition of a hidden gem. Seriously, if you blink, you might drive right on by. Specializing in Northern Italian-style cuisine, La Pizzeria brings a little taste of Boston’s famed North End to Mount Pleasant. Our favorite is the prosciutto pizza, layered simply with prosciutto, spinach, and Parmigiano cheese.

Courtesy of Indaco

Indaco

King Street

Indaco’s wood-fired pizzas are exquisite, with a crust that’s thin, but not too thin, so it’s hearty enough to support the upscale and creative mix of toppings. Favorites include the Brussels sprouts pizza topped with honeycrisp apples, Brussels sprouts, ricotta, dark honey, and pancetta, or the classic Cerignola olives pie with mozzarella, Calabrian chili, basil, parmesan, and olives.

Famulari's Pizzzeria Oakbrook

Famulari's Pizzeria

West Ashley

Famulari’s is a locally owned chain that’s beloved by locals and tourists alike. It’s one of the only places in Charleston that offers a Chicago-style deep dish pizza (for when you have a deep dish appetite), and it really does the Windy City justice.

Fiore's Pizza & Grinders

Johns Island

Fiore’s in Johns Island offers a number of specialty toppings for its oven-baked pizzas and grinders. But its true claim to fame is the free (and tasty) crust seasonings. Those of you who usually discard the crust for being tasteless should prepare to have your world turned upside-down. Choose from butter, garlic herb, Cajun, cheese, ranch, or sesame, and start treating your crust with the respect it deserves.

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Sydney Gallimore is a food writer from Charleston who's eaten more pizza than she cares to admit (but there's always room for one more slice). Follow her at @Sydney_Inc

Previous Venue Next Venue Venue Description
1. Pizzeria di Giovanni 40 N Market St, Charleston, SC 29401

Di Giovanni’s on Market Street is a neighborhood favorite pie joint. We’re talking super-thin crust, lots of cheese, and lots of grease on slices that require two hands to hold. It's open during the day, so you can get a cheap slice whenever the mood strikes, but come 2am, you’ll see a line of not-so-sober college students forming on Market St with people waiting to get one of these giant slices of New York-style pizza.

Previous Venue Next Venue Venue Description
2. Desano Pizza Bakery 94 Stuart St, Charleston, SC 29403

DeSano takes its Neapolitan-style pizza very seriously, adhering to the very strict guidelines of the Associazione Verace Pizza Napoletana (yes, that’s a real thing) and imports its ingredients (including flour, sea salt, tomatoes, mozzarella, olive oil, and basil) directly from the motherland. The three wood-burning ovens (also imported from Italy) are constantly set at 900 degrees and can cook your pizza in 90 seconds flat.

Previous Venue Next Venue Venue Description
3. D'Allesandro's Pizza 229 Saint Philip St, Charleston, SC 29403

D’als (as it is lovingly referred to) is a neighborhood favorite, located just south of the crosstown in the heart of Elliotborough Downtown. The menu is filled with unique and creative options for hand-tossed pizzas, calzones, salads, and caljoes (panini sandwiches). You can also find its frozen pizzas around town at places like Bull Street Gourmet & Market for a take & bake option.

Previous Venue Next Venue Venue Description
4. Monza 451 King St, Charleston, SC 29403

Monza is an Italian race car-themed restaurant that specializes in gourmet Neapolitan-style brick oven pizzas. Many of its ingredients and equipment imported from Italy, but Monza also focuses on sourcing ingredients and flavors from local suppliers as well. Don’t leave without trying the neighborhood favorite Vanwall Special made with pesto, mozzarella, shrimp, and seasonal tomatoes.

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5. EVO Pizzeria 1075 E Montague Ave, North Charleston, SC 29405

Heavenly things are happening at EVO (Extra Virgin Oven) Pizza: pistachios become homemade pesto, daily-made dough blisters beautifully in wood-fired ovens, and local beers flow endlessly. EVO also has a bakery that sells its artisan bread (focaccia, baguettes, semolina loaves) in-house and at farmers markets, so you can bet that the pizza dough is made with the utmost care and expertise. Though the crust tastes more than fine on its own, be sure to order the Pork Trifecta pie, a cult-favorite topped with red sauce, house-maude sausage, pepperoni, bacon, mozzarella, and parmigiano-reggiano.

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6. Paisano's Pizza Grill 1246 Camp Rd, Charleston, SC 29412 (West Ashley)

If you’re a fan of pizzas with a ton of wacky topping options, flavor combinations, and thicker crust, then Paisano’s is definitely the pizza spot for you. Try the Speedy Gonzalez, topped with cheddar cheese, ground beef, jalapeños, onions, tomatoes, and taco seasoning, or the Colbert, with a blue cheese base topped with chicken (grilled or fried), blue cheese crumble, and hot sauce. This West Ashley spot also offers daily specials, lunch combos, and a number of hot and cold Italian sandwiches.

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7. Charleston House Of Pizza 5031 Dorchester Rd, Charleston, SC 29418 (North Charleston)

Located in a pretty desolate part of Dorchester Rd inside a shiny old diner, this hidden gem serves pies loaded with mozzarella, cheddar cheese, and a sauce that's a little on the sweeter side. The menu here is simple, with only five different specialty pies, including a veggie pizza that comes with peppers, onions, broccoli, olives, and tomatoes, that even a carnivore is sure to enjoy.

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8. Crust Wood Fired Pizza 1956B Maybank Hwy, Charleston, SC 29412 (James Island)

If you prefer your pizzas on the fancy side, then Crust is your spot. Their wood-fired artisan pizzas are made with fresh and local ingredients and are unlike any other pizza you’ll find in Charleston. Our pick is the Butternut Squash pizza with roasted squash, mushrooms, caramelized onion, goat cheese, mozzarella, arugula, truffle oil.

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9. La Pizzeria 976 Houston Northcutt Blvd, Mount Pleasant, SC 29464 (Mount Pleasant)

Located in an unassuming shopping center in Mount Pleasant, this hidden gem specializes Northern Italian-style cuisine, and do an excellent job of bringing a little taste of Boston’s famed North End to Mount Pleasant. One of the more popular pies is the prosciutto pizza, which is layered simply prosciutto, spinach, and Parmigiano cheese. Perfetto.

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10. Indaco 526 King St, Charleston, SC 29403

Simply put, this is the place to go on Upper King Street. Creamy burrata appetizers leave the open kitchen at a steady pace, pastas are delectable, brunch serves pizza and the Negronis flow from a tap. The waitstaff is one of the most consistently excellent in a city that excels, and communal tables as well as an open kitchen provide an engaging and friendly atmosphere. Indaco’s wood-fired pizzas are exquisite, with a crust that’s thin, but not too thin, so it’s hearty enough to support their upscale and creative mix of toppings.

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11. Famulari's Pizzeria 2408 Ashley River Rd, Charleston, SC 29414 (West Ashley)

Famulari’s is a locally-owned chain helmed by three brothers, and one of the only places in Charleston that offers a Chicago-style deep dish pizza (for when you have a deep dish appetite). Alongside Chicago-stuffed, speciality, and build-you-own pies, this West Ashley spot also supplies calzones and 'bolis, oven-baked pasta, and loaded Italian sandwiches.

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12. Fiore's Pizza and Grinders 3642 Savannah Hwy, Johns Island, SC 29455

Fiore’s in Johns Island offers a number of specialty toppings but their true claim to fame is the free and tasty crust seasonings. Choose from butter, garlic herb, cajun, cheese, ranch, or sesame and start treating your crust with the respect it deserves. Other highlights from this Charleston favorite include its "original" baked sandwich (mozzarella, ham, sausage, salami, pepperoni, mushroom, red onion, lettuce, tomato, and mayo) and chicken and ranch pizza.

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